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Member since 05/2006

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May 10, 2007



Thanks for sharing your memories of this photo shoot with AC/DC. However, I happen to know a little about the photo that appears on the front cover of the Highway To Hell LP. The photo that appears on the cover was taken by Jim Houghton in New York City, but not at the time of the photo on the back cover of the LP. The front cover photo was taken in December, 1977! A series of photos with 2 different colored backgrounds were taken of the band at this time, and one group photo from this photo shoot was used for the back cover of the Powerage LP. Another photo from this photo shoot was eventually used for the Highway To Hell LP cover. Yes, the devil horns and tail were airbrushed on to the photo, but like I mentioned above, this photo was actually taken in December, 1977. The back cover photo was indeed taken at the time you stated. I have a friend that purchased a slew of slides from Perry Cooper, former A&R for Atlantic Records, and these pictures were of this photo shoot. They, of couurse were the unused photos. Also, you know the front and back cover photos from the Highway To Hell LP were from different times just by looking at the length of Malcolm Young's hair!

Thank's again for your story! Feel free to contact me if you'd like!

Let there be rock!


Thank you for clarifying that. Memory of dates seems to have failed a bit after 30 years, but I clearly remember both sittings and got the dates mixed up. Again, thank you.



I have seen another version of the back cover picture. Phil Rudd's shirt had the "Powerage" album cover logo on it. Airbrushed out for the version used on "Highway to Hell".

I have also seen a version of the cover photo without the horns and tail. Looking closely at this version, Angus's eyes are almost closed (you cannot see any whites of his eyes or pupils). On the HTH cover, you can see the white and pupils. These must also have been added correct me if I am wrong.

Dan Davie

The back shot was also airbrushed, as drummer Phil Rudd (2nd from left)was wearing a black tour T-shirt from the bands 'Powerage' tour in '78. Its bold white lettering has been taken out.

Dan Davie (Boned)


any idea where it s possible to buy an original print of the cover photo of highway to hell ?


Hi Earl,

The Link for the french website is not good, here's the new Link :

Best Regards



Where did the texture on the grey background come from? was it already made with the backdrop used, or was it added later?

Earl Steinbicker

The Highway to Hell cover was shot against an ordinary grey background paper. Later, the record company had it heavily retouched, so heavily airbrushed in fact that it is almost a painting. Incidentally, it was an outake from an earlier session for the Powerage album. The back cover photo was supposed to be the front cover for HTH, but that was just not as effective.


i would love to know where, if anywhere, one could legally get their hands on the original b&w shot in studio without the retouching or logos baked in. this truly iconic shot says as much about rock and roll attitude as any album.

Earl Steinbicker

Those photos of AC/DC are the property of Atlantic Records and are copyrighted by them. I left the business a few months after these were taken and have not had contact with any of the people involved in about 30 years. I suggest you contact the record company or AC/DC themselves, who may be able to help.

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